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  CSPAN    Washington This Week    News/Business.  

    May 12, 2013
    1:00 - 6:01am EDT  

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it is like it never happened. but the problem is that we have become so dependent on antibiotics and we tend to think of them as the remedy for everything, that we use them all the time, and the effect is destructive. developing country gets tens of -- 10 or 20 courses of antibiotics by the time they reach 18. so we used to think that that -- you went into the doctor and you asked for an antibiotic because your kid was screaming, sick, had an ear infection. we knew that that might be bad for society over the long-term because because it might encourage antibiotic resistance, but you want to have your kids feel good now. so we all wanted to get those antibiotics. what we did realize is that we might be harming the kid now. what happens with antibiotics is that they destroy the body's normal microbial life, and the
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microbes don't just bounce back, they actually struggled to come back. so when you get those 10 or 20 doses over the course of childhood, you may seriously impair the micro biome, and the result can be affecting our health in all kinds of ways we did not suspect before. host: according to your article, the most recent research on microbes found that infants exposed to antibiotics in the first six months are 20% more likely to be overweight as toddlers. and then a lack of normal gut microbes early in life disturbs the central nervous system in rodents, may do the same to humans. and starving children might lack the right digestive microorganisms to fix malnutrition. guest: yes. that was a study done in africa this year, him allowing -- in malawi. they looked at kids in the same households, with the same diet.
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one had a severe form of malnutrition and another did not. the kid who did not have the disease did fine, the other kid did not. he would do fine for a little while, at them and go back to being malnourished what they found was that if you manipulate the micro biome and give these kids the right microbes to digest the food, they have a much better chance of recovering from malnutrition. host: we are talking about microbe research with richard conniff, his piece in "smithsonian magazine," "the body eclectic." let's go to charlotte. caller: good morning. does curious as to, how the body pick up its microbes, and if we are constructed by dna, do we carry dna to
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make these microbes? thank you. guest: charlotte, we picked the microbes up from the world around us right from the start. one of the most interesting studies has to do with cesarean births. about 30% of kids in this country are born by cesarean, and they found that kids born that way have a consistently different -- have a completely different micro biome in early life, dominated by a skin bacteria. where is kids born vaginally pick up microbes from the mom's earth canal, and they turn out to be healthier as a result because that rich micro biome early on in life is essential to a lot of things, including the development of the immune system, possibly the development of the brain. so the tendency for those kids born by cesarean to have more
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allergies and other conditions. host: from twitter, "the lack of certain microbes, germs, is associated with allergies and probably autoimmune diseases as well." guest: that is right. researchtion of this by the nih, they did not actually say x causes y. it is difficult to say that a group of microbes causes a condition, but they found lots of correlations, lots of cases where children lacking certain micro biome's or children who have been through certain things like cesarean birth then had a much higher incidence of things like allergies and autoimmunity, obesity, healy act disease, all those kinds of problems that have become epidemic in society over the last 20, 30 years. host: robert in tennessee, republican caller. you are up next.
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guest: i -- caller: i am overwhelmed what i hear this morning, and there are millions and trillions of them. as a young man, i thought all reality came about by chance, and this is a deeper level of reality i never thought of before. i am coming more to the conclusion that there is a great designer of all that is out there, and i lost my atheism way back there, and it seems this is such a help to me to hear all this competition in my human body, the microbes, i cannot even grasp it. i am just so grateful for what you are saying this morning. talk richard conniff, about the complexity of this. guest: let me tell you how i got into this in the first place. i generally write about wildlife behavior, and i was writing a book about the discovery of species in the
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great age of discovery, the 19th century. i was writing about words, butterflies, monkeys, that kind of thing. i was hearing about the micro biome at the same time, and i was describing this whole world of astonishing discovery, yet i was completely ignoring this other microbial world, this in visible world. discoverya period of that has been starting in the last 10 years and i am sure will go on for quite a while that was -- that is as astonishing as discovering new worlds in the 19th century. worldsinding these new inside of us come and that is amazing and complex complex, and it changes our idea of who we are. host: richard conniff has a blog, and you can follow him on twitter as well.
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newill go to patricia, york, independent caller. help me with the name of your town, patricia. caller: ticonderoga. hi, richard. i want to comment on the previous caller. it is comforting to me as well to understand that there are complexities that we have a lot of questions about as human beings. i am not an advocate of taking antibiotics inappropriately. i have never taken many of them over my life -- a few here and there. this morning there was a report on the news about relief of lower back pain and long- standing through the use of a 100-day course of antibiotics. i don't know what antibiotics were being used, and i do think that the 100 days is an interesting figure. i think it kind of reflects the
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complexity of the kind of engineering or tinkering or whatever you want to call it, that we have to do with these microbes. i just wondered if you would comment on that. guest: i have not seen that study, so i cannot comment on it. ideais promising is the that you won't necessarily need to go to antibiotics in the future. they will understand how to encourage beneficial bacteria and bring about a balance between the good and the bad bacteria, and the good bacteria will often be able to control and minimize the effect of the bad ones, and that is going to be a much more successful and less destructive way of handling a lot of medical conditions. the example that comes to mind is an epidemic condition now called cdif, a gut microbe.
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when you give a person repeated doses of antibiotics, it can wipe out the normal microbial life in the gut, and this one destructive microbe starts to take over and it causes really severe unpleasant conditions, chronic diarrhea, and they try to treat it with other antibiotics, and that often makes it worse. this is a treatment for now that sounds incredibly disgusting, and yet it seems to work, and that is fecal transplant. what they do is, they take donor material from a relative and they injected into the person's colon and tried to introduced a more balanced microbial community to keep the cdif in check.
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guest: "i read autism may be a lack of good gut flora in mom, that baby inherits, and unable to recover from inoculation of salt." guest: i think we have to wait a long time before people get conclusive results about what role microbes may play in autism. it is way too soon. host: and it brings up a point that you made in the article, promising too much too soon. guest: there is a researcher at the uc -- university of california at at davis. thele are so excited about discoveries and the incredible implications that they are promising all kinds of things. they are promising that
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microbes can prevent croke -- can prevent stroke or cure autism or do any number of things. really all we have now or -- are correlations. we have these interesting connections between changes of micro biome and changes in a person's health, but that does not mean that x causes y. x get to that point of causing why takes a lot of scientific work, and to get to the point where we can take that scientific work and apply it, that is a big step and it will take a while. host: what about the probiotic industry? you write that it is up 22% over last year. what is it, and what are they promising? guest: probiotics contain live bacteria, and people have taken probiotics pretty much forever.
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they are generally harmless. people also tend now to think that because the micro biome is good and you want to have a rich, diverse microbial community, that takingyou write% theiotics is going to be answer to everything. they take massive doses of row by alex, and those probiotics are not typically and carefully regulated by the government. the idea that as one of the scientists i talked to put it, that something is a cure-all for everything probably means it is a cure for nothing. muchthink putting too confidence in probiotics can be dangerous. on the other hand, we do get to understand how microbes work and do develop beneficial microbes that are precisely targeted to specific conditions. at some point in the future, we will have probiotics that we can apply to very specific medical conditions and make a real difference. we are not there yet. host: we are talking to richard
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conniff of "smithsonian magazine," about researching microbes. as he said, he writes primarily about nature and has a blog. his most recent book, "swimming with puranas at feeding the answer to everything. time," richard conniff. jean in ohio said, "as a medical person i am outraged and these refuse to do sputum and throat cultures before giving out antibiotics." caller: my question is this. over the years we have seen a large rise in corporate farming, and then we see the sustainable growth organic movement where the soils are filled with microbes and filled with lifso my question is -- iss
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going to lead to a more sustainable life for us with sustainable farming? guest: so let's talk about the corporate side of farming. these large concentrated operations. they are one of the areas where antibiotics have been used most heavily and indiscriminately, so we know now that 80% of the antibiotics in this country go not to medical purposes, not to human medical purposes, but to food animals, the animals that we eat. they go to promote growth, but more particularly to enable animals to stay healthy in much more crowded conditions, and the result of that is that we have much cheaper meat than we would otherwise. on the other hand, the result is that we have antibiotic
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resistant bacteria on practically all the meat that we buy in the supermarket. so in addition to medical overuse of antibiotics, i think we are coming to recognize that this agricultural overuse of antibiotics is extremely disruptive, and i think that will change pretty quickly. it is already changing because consumers are reactingo strongly again i tainted with antibiotic resistant bacteria. host: what about the microbes we get from other people? we talked about it earlier, or get from what we eat? guest: it depends on how you cook your food, but there is antibiotic resistant salmonella and e. coli and bacteria on basically all of the supermarket meat that you get from standard industrial production methods, and you have
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to cook it thoroughly so you don't feel the consequences of that. meet,en handling that having it around the kitchen means that we are picking up those antibiotic resistant thisria, and bacteria do weird thing. instead of passing on their capacity just to their offspring the way we do, they can swap it from side to side with the microbes around them, so they can swap antibiotic resistance within our bodies, and the consequences of that are frightening to think about. host: what are they? guest: one of the reasons that cdif is such a problem is that you have bacteria that this weird thing. resist treatment with antibiotics.
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we just cannot deal with them. you have e. coli in the standard urinary tract infection that is often untreatable or difficult to treat because they have multiple antibiotic resistance. i believe e. coli infections kill 800,000 people worldwide. you have an antibiotic resistance crisis in this country that i think the number is 63,000 people a year die as a result of antibiotic resistant infections in this country. so those are pretty big consequences from this kind of giddiness that we have had about antibiotics over the last 60 years. host: richard conniff, author of "the body eclectic." next caller, go ahead. caller: i have a 21-month-old child, and i wonder if there is any kind of testing that can be done on this? aret: i don't think they doing much testing in terms of treating individual patients at this point, but the one thing that people said to me repeatedly as i was doing this
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research is, let your kid play in the dirt. let your kid be a kid. open windows, go outside. don't try to lock a kid up in this sanitized world, because the consequences for that child's health could be more serious than you imagine. ast: sonja in howard, ohio, republican caller. go ahead. caller: good morning. i think that is great that you are doing something very important. i had a question regarding the microbes inside the body, the way that the cells decay. i was wondering, if the cells are alive and regenerating, do they feed off of that in any way? whitein question, the blood cells, they destroy thewe. -- i cannot think of the word and i sound like an idiot. host: you are doing fine.
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caller: they destroy the bad cells that make you sick, and i wonder if there is any way that they feed off of that, regenerate themselves in that way my car body does. host: stay on the line and i will have richard conniff respond. guest: i am not sure i can answer that question. it seems to me if you are saying -- asking if the bacteria are feeding off each other in the body, and if that controls the bacteria, and honestly i just know that. when doctors try to control bacteria like cdif when they do fecal transplants, they are introducing bacteria to out- compete them, to occupy the spaces and niches in the body, not because they think the microbes will go in there and eat the cdif. i am not the one to answer the question. host: "did the pre-penicillin sulfur compounds have the same negative effects on good microbes?"
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guest: the first antibiotics came in in 1935, and they were the only ones available until 1944, and i don't know if they produced the same amounts of resistance. but as soon as penicillin came in, by 1945 you are saying antibiotic resistance coming up because of the heavy use of antibiotics. useds being heavily because it had such great effect. within world war ii, it saves tens of thousands of soldiers lives from d-day on because antibiotics prevented these horrible infections from wounds so people did not get gangrene, they did not have their limbs agitated, they did not die. so it was a great thing, and you can -- did not have their limbs amputated, they did not die. so it was a great thing, and you can understand it -- people discussed seriously, doctors discussed broadcasting
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antibiotics into the atmosphere to control microbes, to control these enemies. but in fact we realize that i chrome's are not the enemy, th are also our allies. host: marlene, democratic caller. caller: i was calling because when my daughter was 10, her appendix burst. she was treated with triple antibiotics. then discharged, but returned about -- returns later because of infection. i have often wondered, because it took her a very long time to recover her strength, and she often still feels tired, more tired than my other daughter because of going through that. i often wonder, is there any kind of long-term effect? guest: i don't know that. sorry, i cannot help you with that. i know it is incredibly
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debilitating when it happens, and it is sometimes fatal, but i don't know how it affects people after that over the long term. host: robert ryan says, "what percentage of bacteria cannot be cultured, and what implications for health does this have?" small it was a pretty percentage that could survive in a petri dish and be studied. when they started to do the dna sequencing and seeing all the rest of the things going on in our body, it opened up a pretty big new world. whate are just finding out the effects are on our bodies. host: richard conniff, we have about 10 minutes left ear. what is next in this research question mark what will we hear about? guest: first of all, the nih has completed that initial program. they spent $173 million on a five-year pilot program with the idea of bringing the micro
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biome to the attention of the general public, the industry, the medical community. they really did bring that to everybody's attention, so readers -- to research has taken off. the nih is going to continue with a $15 million program over the next three years, and they will be looking at some of the functions of the microbio, something that specific microbes do and how we can manipulate them. so we will start to see that filtering out into our everyday lives. you will see it in doctors offices. we have drug companies that are researching microbial treatments for diabetes obesity, allergies. those things will start to come fivee market, they be
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years, i don't know. and you also have, in addition to the $15 million that nih is spending on the next phase of the human microbio project, you have other parts of the national institutes of health that to ramp up their research on the microbio, and they spent $180 five years, i don't know. and you also have, in million a. so that will bear fruit and show up in our lives in all kinds of ways. i think the first thing we are going to see is people are going to move away from antibiotics because they will understand how destructive they are. they will be a lot more cautious of that. it is hard to predict. host: you talk about the peace that -- you talk about in the piece that toothpaste companies are doing research on that. why is that? guest: there are 700 or so, maybe up to 1000, different microbes in the mouth. it is a question of establishing a balance within the mouth so that the ones that cause cavities are kind of outcompeted by the ones that are beneficial, and i think
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toothpaste companies are looking to see if they can take advantage of that to make their products more effective. host: venture capitalists are also getting into the game. do we know how much money is putting into this research on the private side? guest: i don't know the numbers on total venture capital investment. i did talk to one company him a second genome, in california, and is looking to put a product on the market for also rate of -- for ulcerative colitis, and there are others. i suspect there are more that i did not run across in the course of my research. host: kevin, gaithersburg, maryland, republican caller. go ahead. caller: if we are kind of in the beginning of this process, the nih is already pulling in
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venture capitalists, going to want to make products and applications. is nih doing anything to detect the universal i.t. that is out there for this? guest: what the nih set out to do was to create a kind of template for how to do this work. they wanted to create protocols for how you do sampling, order calls for how you analyze the data -- protocols for how you analyze the data onto computer programs that will handle all the data. but, you know, if you are whether people will start patenting microbes and trying to privatize them, i don't think that is the nih's -- i think that is a question for t owis going to happen with tha.
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host: bakersfield, california, on our line for independents. caller: good morning. i would like to ask if he is aware of omaha beef. they irradiate all of their beef so they don't have that problem with e. coli getting to the customer. guest: i don't know that particular company, but most companies, and also the countries that raise their food animals by more old-fashioned means without relying on antibiotics can get away from this problem pretty easily. weis not inevitable that have meat contaminated with antibiotic resistant bacteria. it just seems that way because that is how the industry chooses to do it at the moment. host: mark, a lego, new york, democratic caller. caller: good morning. your wildlife studies do see new species of microbes, mutating species, or are we losing species of microbes?
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guest: we are losing species within our own bodies. mostf the things that is alarming, they call it the disappearing microbiota process. the overall diversity of microbes in the gut has steadily gone down over the past 60 years, and this may be having lots of negative consequences in terms of allergies and digestive disorders and those other things that we were discussing earlier. so, yes, there is a kind of possible ecological crisis within our own bodies that is a real source of concern. our: matt smith says, "can guest link recent studies, experiments linking stomach and gut bacteria to mood and motivation?"
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guest: that study of rats suggested that rats that don't have a rich diverse microbio in the early stages of life -- micro biome in the early stages of life can have different serotonin levels in the brain, and that is scary stuff and stuff that needs to be studied. but, you know, what can we can do about it now, how we can change our lives, that is not known. it still needs to be researched. host: don in new mexico, independent caller. caller: good morning. mary roach has written a new book called "adventures of the alimentary canal," dealing with our digestive system and how it works. are you familiar with that particular work? guest: i have not read it.
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caller: my second question, there has been a recent study done on children who have pacifiers in the way mothers deal with those pacifiers -- when they drop to the ground, whether they pick them up and give them to the child or whether they put them in their mouths and then given to the child and introduce that bacteria in their children. are you familiar with that study? guest: yes, that was a story in "the new york times" asked the other day. this is the exact split personality over microbes. the impulse to take the pacifier and put it under hot water immediately and clean it up, and yet it may be healthier to put it in your mouth and rinse it off and give it back to the baby. so this idea of the mom and the child exchanging microbes early on, and this being an important thing for the child to develop its microbial diversity, that is -- when i was visiting these
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scientists, researching the story, all of them would be talking about how important it was to have a rich and diverse microbiome, and then out of the hallways they would have those purell dispensers for the antiseptic washing of hands. so we have this split personality would have to get past and think of microbes as a much more subtle and nuanced thing then we have thought about them in the past. host: sheila in connecticut, independent caller. caller: hello, richard and greta. i question is about roe biotic -- about probiotics. my doctor lets me get away with getting off of them if i can because i get all these side effects. theyese probiotics, introduce bacteria into the system. i wonder if we can protect
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ourselves by doing this because there are so many antibiotics out there. yours ago i came upon a book -- years ago i came upon a book and sidney wolfe was one of the contributors. i call that my bible. i don't have access to it right now, but i have to get another one. it begins with a c, but it is causes -- it causes different things like tendinitis and different things with your bones, so i am very leery of antibiotics. i put myself on probiotics, and i wonder if that is safe to introduce into the system every day. would that be helpful on counteracting -- host: if i could add to that, there is an e-mail from maryland -- from maryland that says, "is there a validity that taking probiotics replaces the good bacteria in the human gut providing that the probiotic has been manufactured in --
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i don't -- in my guest: in the article i describe the micro biome as being like a symphony, different parts that are interactive playing together, and adding the probiotic is like playing the piano solo with your elbows. introducing hand, an antibiotic is like laying the piano solo with a two by four. andare doing damage destruction. avoiding that is certainly something to do if you can. when you can, you should. meanwhile, you're not going to hurt yourself with probiotics, and eventually there will be probiotics that will be a real help.
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host: richard conniff's piece is "the body eclectic," in the latest edition of "smithsonian magazine." thank you for talking to our viewers this morning. we appreciate it. sharyl attkisson talks about the investigation into benghazi, libya. we will look of state and federal law with carolyn patmon- davis from the national center for missing and exploited children. director felt blood the top of a home run terrorism. >> next, the south korean president addresses congress.
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after that, a discussion between the history to u.s. and iran and its nuclear program. at a forum on human rights in north korea. post-9/11 a lot more people care of a national issue than the case before. all the sudden there was a market for former cia folks, defense intelligence agency, of those guys who were used to operating in the shadows saw the market for their services, commentators, book writers, so there was the somewhat uncomfortable interaction between the agencies and former employees. and at the time, i thought waterboarding was something many did to do. as time has passed and as
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september 11 has moved farther and farther back into history, i think i have changed our mind, and i think waterboarding is something that we should not be doing peter mit say that now? >> because we are americans and we are better than that. -that this is a guy, by all accounts, meant well, served his country well, for 15 years in some very dangerous situations, risked his life to take out of cuts and pakistan, terrorism before that. he is going up to prison for 30 months, leaving his young family behind. >> this weekend, the feature story from spy to source to convict. the story of a jailed cia officer, said the 8:00 on c- span. >> the south korean president
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visited washington, d.c. this week. she discussed the alliance between the two countries and addressed a joint meeting of congress. she was elected in 2012 and is the first woman to be elected as the country's leader. this is 40 minutes. national copyright cable satellite corp. 2013] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> mr. speaker, the president of the republic of korea. [applause]
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[applause]
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[applause]
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i have the dof presenting to you her hee,lency park eun president of the republic of korea. [applause]
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>> speaker boehner, vice president biden, distinguished members of the house and the senate, ladies and gentlemen. i'm privileged to stand in this chamber, hallowed ground of freedom and democracy, to speak about our friendship and our future together. after i arrived in washington the day before yesterday, i went to the korean war memorial near the banks of the potomac. i read the words etched in granite. our nation honors her sons and daughters who answer the call defend our country.
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they never knew and a people they never met. time and again, i'm moved when i read those familiar words. [applause] >> let me express on behalf of the people of the republic of korea our profound gratitude to america veterans. sweatre -- their blood, and tears helped safeguard the freedom and democracy. [applause] >> i also offer my heart felt appreciation to four men in
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particular. they served in that war and now serve in this chamber. congressmanare conyers. congressman rangell. sam johnson. [applause]
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>> gentlemen, my country thanks you. when the guns fell silent in the summer of 1953, koreans were surviving on $67 that year. six decades later, korea is one of the top five car producers and the eighth largest trading nation. one call this the miracle the river. [applause]
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in korea, it was anything but a miracle. and it wasn't just to build from win. koreans worked tirelessly in the mines of germany, in the jungles of vietnam, in the deserts of the middle east. proudare the people, the korean people that i'm so honored to serve as president. [applause] >> they are the ones that made korea what it is today. together, we will rise to their stories. a second miracle on the river.
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writtene, it will be with our revived economy, with our people that are happy, with a flourishing culture and on a pathway to a reunified peninsula. [applause] these are the full tenets that guide my government. we also know that we didn't come this far on our own along our journey. greate been aided by friends and among them, the united states is the second to none. [applause]
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america, i thank you for your friendship. if the path is anything to go by, our new journey will also be filled with excitement. this year, we honor the 50th anniversary of our alliance and today, i would like to acknowledge one iconic family that captures those years. it is the family of lieutenant colonel david morgan. [applause]
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>> his grandfather, the late warren morgan fought in the korean war. the senior morgan was a commander in the u.s. naval reserve. his father, john morgan, also served in the korean war. ofwas a battery commander the artillery. colonel morgan himself has served two tours in korea, in 1992 and 2005. livinggan family is a
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testimony to our 60 years together. americansrations of helping to safeguard korea. [applause] >> that family is here with us today. gratefulent of our nation, i salute the morgan family and the commitment and friendship of the american people. [applause] >> looking forward, our precious alliance is setting our sights on a better world, a
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better future, bound by trust, guided by shared values. we are cooperating across and beyond our own boundaries. korea has stood by the united states in iraq and afghanistan. peaceer, we supported building and construction in those nations. following was the washington conference in 2010. nuclearhe second security summit. there, we reafffirmed our commitment to the vision of a world without nuclear weapons. [applause]
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>> our world without nuclear weapons must start on the korean peninsula. [applause] >> for the peninsula is the home to the only divided nation state and directly faces the threat of nuclear weapons. a is an ideal test bed for future free of nuclear arms. thee can pull it off on korean peninsula, then we can pull it off anywhere else. [applause] >> korea has been pursuing the peaceful use of nuclear energy.
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it is also firmly committed to the principle of nonproliferation. area and the united states otherring to build in countries. in this regard, we need a modernized beneficialy out mutual successor to our nuclear civil agreement. hugeon accord will bring advantages to related industries in both our countries. >> the united states and korea send the largest numbers of aid
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volunteers abroad. helprk side by side to lower-income countries. in 2011, our agencies signed a document to facilitate these efforts and korea's aid agency will soon be signing another with the u.s. peace corps. [applause] >> in march of last year, the free trade agreement went into effect. it adds an economic pillar to our alliance. it has moved us closer to a comprehensive and strategic alliance. we can do even more if the
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visas on korean nationals is passed in this congress. both our economies will benefit for it would help create many more jobs. [applause] >> if it should show our people what the f.d.a. can do for them, i ask congress for its understanding for its support. asiant.a. connects east most america and provides a key platform for building up common asia-pacific markets. the agreement also helps
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underpin washington's rebalancing towards the region. collectively, these developments paint a forward- leaning alliance. the point to 21st century partnership that is both comprehensive and strategic. ladies and gentlemen that is our present. the foundation on which we stand. futureish to share my together, a future that we will build together as partners. [applause]
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following our meeting yesterday, president obama and i adopted a joint declaration extraordinarye accomplishments of the last 60 years. we determined to embark on another shared journey towards peace on the korean peninsula, towards cooperation in northeast asia and finally towards prosperity around the world. it is my hope that as we make this journey, our partnership will be guided by three parts. the first is to laid groundwork for enduring peace on the korean peninsula and overtime for reunification.
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[applause] >> that future, i know feels distant today. north korea continues to issue threats and provocations, firing long-range missiles, staging nuclear tests that undermine peace on the peninsula and far beyond it. the korean government is reacting regularly, but calmly. highestaintaining the level of readiness. we are stressing our cooperation with the u.s. and other international partners. financialonomy and
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markets remain stable. companies, both domestic and foreign see this and are expanding their investments. korea's economic fundamentals are strong. its government is equal to the test. and it is backed by the might of our alliance. youong as this continues, may rest assured no north korean provocation can succeed. [applause]
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>> i will remain sfed fast in pushing forward a trust building on the korean peninsula. i'm confident that trust is the path to peace. the path to a korea that is whole again. the republic of korea will never september -- accept a nuclear-armed north korea. [applause] >> pyongyang provocations will be met decisively. [applause] >> at the same time, i will not
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link humanitarian aid to the north korean people such as infants and young children to the political situation. [applause] and the trust that gradually builds up through exchange through cooperation, we will ment the grounds for durable peace and eventually peaceful reunification. but as we say in korea, it takes two hands to clap. trust is not something that can be imposed on another. the pattern is all too familiar
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and deadly misguided, north korea provokes a crisis, the swat community imposes a certain period of sanctions. later, it tries to catch things up by offering concessions and reward. meanwhile, pyongyang uses that time to advance its nuclear capabilities and uncertainty prevails. it is time to put an end to this vicious circle.
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>> pyongyang is pursuing two goals at once. nuclear arsenal and economic development. we know these are incompatible. you cannot have your cake and eat it, too. [laughter] the leadership in pyongyang must make no mistake, security does not come from nuclear weapons. security comes when the lives of its people are improved. it comes when people are free to pursue their happiness.
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new york must make the right choice. it must walk the path to becoming a responsible member in the community of nations. north korea must make the right choice. in order to make north korea make the choice, the international community must speak with one voice. its message must be clear and consistent. only then will we see real interkorean relations. only then will lasting peace be brought to the korean peninsula in northeast asia. 60 years ago, a stretch of earth biexpecting the korean
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ninsula was -- bisecting the korean peninsula and today is the most vent ilitarized place on the planet and there is a potential to endanger global peace. we must defuse the danger, not just the south and north korea. the world must also get nvolved. it is a drone that strengthens the peace, not undermine it. it is with this vision in mind that i hope to work towards an nternational park inside the
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d.m.z. it will be a park that sends a message of peace to all of humanity. is could be pursued in peril -- in parallel with my trust-building process. there, i believe we can start to grow peace, to grow trust. peace, bringing together, not just koreans separated by military lines, but also the citizens of the world. i call on america and the global community to join us in seeking the promise of a new day. honorable members of congress,
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the second leg of our journey extends beyond the korean peninsula to all of northeast asia where we must build a mechanism of peace and cooperation. sadly, today, the nations of this region failed to fulfill ll that we can achieve collectively. the potential is tremendous. the region's economies are gaining ever greater clout and becoming more and more interlinked, yet differences stemming from history are widening. it has been said that those who are blind to the past cannot see the future. this is obviously a problem for
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the here and now. but the larger issue is about tomorrow. for where there is failure to acknowledge honestly what happened yesterday, there can e no tomorrow. sia suffers from what i call asia paradox, the disconnect between growing economic interdependence on the one hand and backward political security corporation on the other. how we manage this paradox, this will determine the shape of a new order in asia. together we must meet cheese challenges, and so i propose an
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initiative for peace and cooperation in northeast asia. . cannot afford to put it off the multilateral process in northeast asia. together the united states and other northeast asian partners can start with softer issues. this includes environmental . sues and disaster relief they include nuclear safety and counterterrorism. thus will be built through this process. and that trust will propel us to expand the horizons of our corporation.
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the initiative will serve the cause of peace and development the regions, but it will be firmly rooted in the korea-u.s. alliance. n this sense, it could reinforce president obama's strategy of rebalancing towards the asia pacific. of course, north korea could also be invited to join if we start where our initiatives overlap. then later it will be easier to find common ground on the larger challenges, easier to find solutions to our mutual benefit.
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i firmly believe that korea and the united states will work hand in hand as we shape an emerging process for region. ons in the the third and final leg of our journey extends even further beyond the peninsula, beyond northeast asia to the rest of the world. it is a tribute to happiness, the happiness of koreans on both halves of the peninsula, the happiness of all humanity. it is a vision i also advanced at my inauguration. the pursuit of happiness is enshrined in the american declaration of independence.
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it also occupies a special place in the korean constitution. i have long believed that our alliance should aim far, it should ultimately seek a ppier world, guided by the spirit, we stood side by side in the frontier of peace and freedom. infused by this spirit, we are extending corporations on global issues, issues like ounterterrorism, nuclear proliferation, and the global financial crisis. our efforts will not stop there. together, we will spearhead the universal values of freedom, human rights, and the rule of law.
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we will march together to take on global challenges from fighting poverty to tackling climb change and other nvironmental issues. mbers of the house and the senate, our journey since the korean war has been led by our specific mission to respond to their threats and provocations from the north and to defend the freedom and peace on the korean peninsula. today, our alliance is called upon to go beyond that, beyond
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just the defense of freedom and peace. we are called upon to step forward on a new journey, a journey towards a korea that is at peace, that is happy and that is made whole. our economic partnership must also aim higher and reach .urther into the future president obama has outlined the america startup initiative and together with my strategy for a creative economy, we can advance towards a common goal help channel the innovative ideas, the passion and the drive of our youth towards brighter future.
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koreans and americans are , whether in new ways tours of korean pop stars for hollywood villains, or at reconstruction sites in the middle east. together we can envision a future that is richer, that is afer, and that is happier. our chorus of freedom and peace a future and hope has not ceased to resonate over the last 60 years, and will not seize to go on. thank you very much.
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[captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp.2013]
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>> next, a discussion about the history of the relationship between the united states and iran and the iranian nuclear program. then a forum on human rights in north korea. after that, a house hearing on the boston marathon bombings. house armed services committee member matt thorn berry is our guest this week on "newsmakers." he talks about news issue including the response on the attack of benghazi, libya, syria, guantanamo bay and the
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defense department's report on sexual assaults. watch "newsmakers" on sunday at 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. eastern on c span. >> she is the first first lady to earn a college degree and during the civil war soldiers serving under her husband called her the mother of the prejudicement. opposing slavery she urged her husband to switch parties and hosted the first annual easter egg roll. eet lucy hayes of the 19th president rutherford hayes. join us monday night on c-span and c-span and also on c-span radio and c-span.org. >> now an examination of u.s. relations with iran. iranian american author and journalist looks at the history between the two nations and the break of diplomatic relations
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more than 30 years ago and discusses u.s. support for the shaw, the 1979 revolution and hostage crisis, iran's nuclear program and the cultural misunderstanding between the u.s. and iran. he is a contributing writer for "time," "salon" and the new yorker. it was hosted by williams college in williams town, massachusetts. it's an hour and 25 minutes. > thank you very much. this mike, i guess. that introduction was lovely but i have to say i'm neither a professor nor an expert of any kind on anything, let alone iran. there are actually no iranian experts, in case you were wondering, because there's no such thing as expertise on iran. iran is just way, way too unpredictable and difficult for anybody to claim they're an expert, that they know what
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iran is, what iran is going to do, whether they're going to build a bomb, whether they're going to build a bomb or not build a bomb, whether we'll go to war and everything the experts claim to know, they actually don't. the proof of that is that in 2009 when there was an election, a presidential election in iran, there wasn't a single expert, myself included as a nonexpert, who predicted what was going to happen in the aftermath of an election. now we have a whole new election happening in iran and there's all sorts of new expertise about expert opinion about what is going to happen with the election in iran and how it will affect the nuclear program and how it will affect relations with the united states and iran. and again, i would argue that no one really knows, and i'll talk a little bit about what we to know about iran. rather than what we think we know. ran is, as i said earlier at a dinner, i have the fortune, or
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misfortune, however you look at it, of being bicultural. what i know of iran is through the culture of my parents and my family and the time i've spent in iran which isn't as much as i would have liked it to have been. and my contacts with iranians, all kinds, politicians, they've mentioned that i have met and translated for and even advised iranian presidents, my -- i've had the fortune of being able to look at issues through iranian eyes. my own eyes which are partly iranian but also through the eyes of iranians i've gotten close to. and i think that's primarily the problem we have in america with foreign relations. we have a very difficult time looking at issues through the eyes of someone else, through the eyes of another culture, particularly a culture which seems to be in conflict with us. and iran has seemed to be --
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the questions, is there any way for us as americans, americans who don't have the experience or the bicultural background to be able to understand where iran is coming from or the iranian government is coming from or where the iranian people are coming from and is there a way for us to accommodate what their concerns are and what they want to be in this so-called family of nations that exist right now, we're hopefully at peace with each other. that's a good question. i can't answer that question because i'm bicultural, it's very difficult to answer that question. i think i know, but i can't look at iran purely through american eyes. what i'm going to do tonight is try to explain a little bit about iran from the perspective of iranians, not from the perspective of an american. when we look at iran, i think -- and it's in the news all the time, the scary country, 80
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million people who seem to be ligious fanatics which we don't like in america, generally speaking, who are bent on the destruction of israel, one of our closest allies, if not our closest ally, who are bent on reducing our influence and power in the world and challenging the u.s. in almost every instance where our interests intersect, such as in afghanistan, iraq, syria, lebanon, with hamas, with hezbollah. that is what we see of iran and what we see in the media of iran is also very alarmist. we have a crazy president in iran who talks about there being no homosexuals in iran to wanting to wipe israel off the map, to talking about the evil of zionism and t talking about how iran is a superpower and is going to calening america and
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is actually going to be victorious in this battle between east and west. so this is what we get from the media to a large degree, is what we see all the time. but of course as intelligent people we know that can't possibly be the truth. and it isn't. it isn't the truth. it is true that president mahmoud ahmadinejad is a little whacko and it's true he comes across as very whacko. and it's true his rhetoric sounds to our ears completely insane. but it is also true that his head rick doesn't sound insane to a large population inside iran and doesn't sound insane to a large population in the developing world, not just iran. it's also true he doesn't represent the iranian people fully. it's true the iranians we see on tv sometimes, all the way back to the hostage crisis, jumping up and down and shouting "death to america" seeing scenes of tehran on
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television, of people walking on the american flag. we also know that -- most intelligent people know that doesn't represent 80 million people but also is true at the same time that the iranian government is at odds with the u.s. government in many instances, and in many places in the world, particularly in the middle east. the question is, why is that? why should we be at odds with iran? what is there about iran or this government in particular, this regime in particular, that makes it impossible for us to figure out how to be on good terms, or at least on speaking terms with them over the last 30 years. the first answer to that is the hostage crisis. we tried, we had an embassy there, we took our hot continuals, they did something -- hostages and did something evil and was against the law and we stopped speaking to them and cut of diplomatic relations
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and now they're an enemy and are fence us and will do anything to undermine them which included supporting saddam hussein when he went to war with iran, supporting him and terile -- militarily supporting the countries that supported him financially. that's the easy answer. the more complicated answer is that there are grievances on both sides. the main grievance the united states has starts with the hostage crisis but then goes on to iran's support for actors we don't approve of such as hezbollah in lebanon and the palestinian resistance in israel. and the occupied territories. the grievance on the iranian side is a side we tend to miss and tend not to talk about it. and the grievances on the iran n sides go back all the way to world war ii.
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during world war ii the allied powers had the shah's father removed from power because he was a sympathizer and installed the son. seven or eight years later, there was a democrat -- this he was a very weak ruler and it was a constitutional monarchy and an elected prime minister. and the elected prime minister yusadef s mohammed who was didn't believe in iran's interests and didn't believe being allied east or west and didn't believe in taking orders from the united states or anyone else, particularly great britain at that time. and at that time, iran's oil, iran's income from its oil was less than the taxes b.p. was paying to the british government for the sale of that oil. so he nationalized the oil industry. and the british and americans, and to make a long story short
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and for those who know it, the british and american governments decided to remove that democratically elected prime minister and return the shah to power who had fled iran in fear that he would be arrested. that 1953 coup is something every iranian knows about, every iranian has known about forever, has been taught in schools since 1979, and every iranian knows that that coup was instigated by the united states and great britain but mainly it wouldn't have happened without the united states. so as far as iranians are concerned, and particularly the revolutionaries that took over power in 1979 and now are in control of the country, for them, the u.s. is a country that took away their democratic aspirations. it's true, it was more than 50 years ago but still a recent memory for many of those
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people. and that since then, certainly since 1979, has tried to undermine iran's movement towards an independent democratic or somewhat democratic state. so the antagonism goes back to 1953 but it's not just 1953. and a lot of people will write books or arms about how the iranians have a grievance against the united states because of the 195 coup. it's not just that. since 1979 and the hostage crisis, the iranians feel the .s. has tried to undermine iran in many ways and i'll point out a few recent things the iranians will point out and say this shows american bad faith towards iran. the nuclear issue as being a primary one that the united states is making certain demands of iran that most iranians believe iran has a
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right to, the right to nuclear enrichment at this point. most iranians believe iran has a right to a nuclear program and a right to enrichment under the treaty they've signed and the united states is unreasonable in demanding they stop that. they believe the united states has gone further than just demanding iran stop that and has actually had programs to undermine the regime. the regime changed programs and in fact there was at one point i think a $400 million budget to foment revolution in iran, under president bush there was. i'm not sure where it stands now, the budget for covert and overt activity against the iranian regime. so the iranian people and the iranian regime, they're very good at propaganda and telling their people what's going on in the world and what's going on with america and iran. the view there is that america cannot abide by iran's
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independence, by iran wanting to make its own decisions and being an independent actor in the middle east and wants to impose its will on iran. wants to impose a form of government on iran, wants to impose a form -- wants to impose its ideals and its ideology on iran and iran is resisting that. and another example for the iranians is the assassination of nuclear scientists which is blamed on israel and the united states and although the united states claims that it's not involved in the assassination of iran nuclear scientists, that's not very much -- that's not very well believed in iran by even ordinary iranians who dislike the regime. then you have the virus that was introduced to the iranian system that was running the nuclear program which caused a lot of damage. that's another example of covert activity to undermine iranian interest.
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the iranian people have two major concerns in life. they have one concern which is economic, which we all have. everybody wants to have a good economic life, have a stable life, a stable country and a stable economy and to do well financially. their second concern, a secondary concern is a social political concern, so they want a government that represents them. those two are their own primary concerns for the iranian people and the iranian people knows those two are the primary concerns. they know the economic concern is more important. but for the iranians, there's also a third concern, something we don't generally have to think about in america and that is what their nation stands for. the iranian people are proud people who have had 2,500 years of history, at least they think they've had 25 years of history as a nation state and a nation
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state that was created at a time when there were very few nation states and city states at that time and cyrus the great forged together this nation out of different twibes and ethnicities and created this country called iran. it was always called iran by the iranians and per have by the greeks and by the british. called persia by the greeks and by the british. iranian kids that went to school during the shah's time was taught iranian history the same way we're taught about american history. it was a great empire that did a lot of things that was influential and the language was influential, poetry, literature was influential across the world. and they saw the decline and they blame part of the decline on the weakness of iran, the weakness of its rulers and the strength of the west. and what the 1979 revolution
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was supposed to do and why it was popular for many iranians is it claimed it was going to make iran at another great country that would be independent and not necessarily to compete mill sterile or com -- militarilyy compete on the world stage but a independent state that would not take orders or dictate from any other country and that was a popular sentiment and still a sentiment that is part of the iranian experience among iranians inside or outside iran and even those who live here and might despise the regime and what it does in terms of human rights and civil rights but still believe that iran should be an independent nation, should not be a country that is allied necessarily to one country -- to another greater power or not. so for iranians, that third concern is actually quite important and that's the concern that the regime has been able to play on for the
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last 30 years and particularly in the last 10 years when it's been about the nuclear issue, this concern that we want to be an independent nation, we don't want to be dictated to by the west. we don't want to be dictated to by anybody, let alone the west. the foreign mine city after iran after the revolution they carved into the walls, neither east nor west, the iran republic. and a strong sentiment to not be allied to the communist east or capitalist west. and that sentiment plays a very strong role in the iranian culture. so i'm going to move to whether this government or this regime is an actor that is possible to do business with for the united states. given the fact that they have, as we know, post-2009, quite a lot of discontent, economically
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and social politically, the first two concerns most iranians have. they don't have a lot of discontent when it comes to their stance on independence, and the nuclear issue is what is driving that substance right now for iranians and why the nuclear issue is still a very popular issue. the nuclear program is a popular issue for most iranians inside iran. even the latest polls. although polls can be not very accurate in countries like iran here people tend not to answer truthfully because they're afraid their answers might become public and in regimes autocratic people tend not to want to questions by someone anonymously on the phone. but there have been numerous polls done internally and by external polling, u.s. based polling companies that have shown even though the nuclear program has diminished somewhat
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in its popularity, it's still popular and iran's stance on the program is popular by an overwhelming majority inside iran, still an overwhelming majority. and that's what i was talking about, that third issue. now we can talk about what this relate to d now we them, whether it's possible for us to relate to them, talking about mahmoud ahmadinejad. he has been blown way out of proportion in the west and by our media. you kind of can't blame our media, our media likes to look for stuff that's interesting, exciting, a sensationalist and am jad -- and mahmoud ahmadinejad fits that bill and if he was reasonable he wouldn't get that much air time and is much more interesting as a unreasonable person and a whacko, we like whackos.
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look what is happening with north korea. half the cold is concerned about him being a little whacko instead of him actually being a threat. in mahmoud ahmadinejad's case it was both, him being a threat as well as being whacko. but mahmoud ahmadinejad in iran is not as important as we made him out to be here. it was much more convenient for the media to make him out to be the leader of iran. that's the word they've used often, the leader of iran when he's in fact not the leader of iran. iran has a very complicated political structure and might bore people to death for me to go into it but i'll go into it very, very briefly. it is somewhat democratic, not democratic in the way we imagine it in that there is a streak leader and a lot of these words i'll use -- these terms are very orwellian. iran has a supreme leader who is supreme and why they call him the supreme leader. he's the ultimate authority in iran.
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the way it's structured, the supreme leader is chosen by a body of clerics called the assembly of experts. the assembly of experts, however, is voted on by the people every six years. i have yet to come across an iranian i know who ever voted in that election. you have to assume those that go out for vote for the experts are really regime supporters and tend to vote for relatively conservative ayatollahs and the assembly of expert is all clerics, kind of like a college of cardinals. and that assembly of experts has the power to appoint the stream leader and in turn the stream leader is to monitor his performance and impeach him. like the cardinals can depose a pope uerin circumstances. same in iran. this is where they claim their legitimacy.
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the supreme leader says i'm actually elected by the people through the assembly of experts. then you have all these other governmental bodies that are all ultimately answerable to the supreme leader, the guardian council, another group of six clerics and six jurists who are to mediate between -- sorry, between parliament and the executive branch when there's a disagreement because there are actually three branches of government in iran and they're elected, there's the legislative branch which is the parliament like our congress. there is the judiciary that is independent and the presidency. if anyone has been following iran the last month or year, you know inside iran there's a huge battle going on between those three branches of government. there's a somewhat democratic system in place and the constitution is somewhat democratic. t thaid, there is still the supreme leader who has the final say in everything and
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people defer to him. so the people leader was always the person dealing with the nuclear issue. he's always the person who ultimately will make the decision whether to talk to america, whether to make a deal with america. 's always the person who has the military capability. he's the person if iran ever builds a nuclear weapon, if it were to do that, he's the person that will have his finger on the button, not someone who is the president of iran. whoever the next president of iran is. in fact, in the system in iran, the government system in iran, the president isn't even the commander in chief. the commander in chief is the supreme leader and doesn't have cole over the military. even ifed gentleman jad wanted to wipe us he -- mahmoud ahmadinejad -- if he wanted to wipe out the earth he doesn't have his finger on the button and can't make a decision on the issue which is handled by
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the council which is answerable only to the supreme leader and he appoints the people to the supreme security council. in the constitution the president is automatically on that council but is one voice of many. the iranian government seems opaque and complicated. you have these three branches of government constantly fighting each other quite openly. and the media in iran is quite open in being able to criticize one branch of government or another branch. there is the freedom of press in iran, i'm not suggesting there it. but more freedom of press in iran such as some of our allied countries like saudi arabia or bahrain and there is more freedom for the press to criticize the government. and there are certain red lines that cannot be crossed by the media. but you have a system of government that seems
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complicated and i think president obama realized it wasn't mahmoud ahmadinejad he's going to have to talk to, it's going to be the supreme leader ultimately who will make the decision. the supreme leader being supreme generally doesn't talk anybody and he has not left an since he became supreme leader. one time he was a president. since 1989 he has not left iran. he thinks being the people leader and being kind of a shiite posts people have to come to him and there's a book out right now by a couple of u.s. intelligence people who are suggesting that's exactly what obama should do, actually go to dehaan and entitle it going to tehran. he doesn't necessarily meet with people. he doesn't meet with foreign politicians. he does occasionally meet with
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heads of state from muslim countries or developing countries who come to tehran and will have a brief meeting with them but doesn't negotiate. it's a very complicated structure. president obama did send a letter to the supreme leader. as far as the iranians were concerned, this actually caused more problems than it solved. president obama recognized mahmoud ahmadinejad is not the person he needs to discuss anything with so let's send a letter to the guy respond. ed mahmoud ahmadinejad had been the first iranian president since the revolution to congratulate an american president in writing on their election. so mahmoud ahmadinejad sent a letter to president obama to congratulate him to being elected in operate. he didn't get a response. he was very offends, mr. mahmoud ahmadinejad was oftened he -- was offended he didn't
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get a response by president obama. he started causing problems inside iran in terms of dealing with the american administration and with president obama. many times he mentioned the americans aren't really interested in speaking to us or they're not really interested in engaging us and it's all pretend they want to and won't congratulate a letter. but that's the issue, how do you respond? the supreme leader sent a letter back. it's never been made public. the only reason i know it wasn't is because a friend of mine helped compose that letter, somebody who was in the iranian government at the time. keeps roblem compounding itself because of this misunderstanding --
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cultural misunderstanding between the u.s. and iran on both sides. the iranians think the american side isn't genuine. the american side isn't really after engagement but is actually trying to undermine them all the time. the american side doesn't understand the iranian side and doesn't understand the importance of responding to a ngratulate yory -- congratulatory letter. nd every time we try to reach out, as president obama says, a hand, and it's met with a fist, from the american perspective, we can see that and see that the iranians aren't reacting well to our outreach. from the iranian side, again, whether it's the people of iran or the government, the outreach is actually very weak. it's like yes, we would like to
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talk to you guys about your nuclear program and a few other things, afghanistan, syria, iraq, but mainly the nuclear program right now. and right now we would like you to do this. we're telling you, we want you to do this. so they've already got -- the iranians say the americans already have what they want us to do which is stop enriching urine yum were to not -- stop enriching uranium. and the same time they're saying while we're asking to you do this, we're going to leave all options on the table which mean potentially if you don't do what we want you to do, we're going to bomb you and force you to do what we want you to do. and before we bomb you, we're going to try a few other things so we're going to really cripple your economy and sanction the hell out of you and do something that is going to make it impossible for you to sell your oil and impossible
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for you to feet your people and impossible to balance your budgets and really squeeze you so much it becomes painful not just for you but also your citizens. and we'll keep doing that until you agree to do what we want you to do. and all the while, at the same time, by the way, if you don't lose it, we can bomb you. the iranians say that doesn't really work. if you threaten us, then our not trying to engage us. if you're putting pressure on us by sanctioning every single thing, our oil, the foreign exchange, your cut off from the international banking system. what you're trying to do is destroy us. so what's the engagement? there is no engagement. there is no negotiation. you're not really talking to us. you're telling us -- you're dictating to us in the same way you dictated to other countries under the superpower and under
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the shah and the way you continue to dictate to some of our allied, weaker countries and that's not acceptable. and for the iranian people, by and large, i would say, they would agree with this government. for no matter how much they feel the government is not representative, of them, in many other ways, that matter how much they feel the human rights situation, the civil rights situation in iran, the democratic process, all of those situations and all of those issues are of importance and are not in the situation where the iranian people want them to be. despite that they are still going to support the nation when it comes to its rights, because once you give up some of your rights because you're told to, once you accept being dictated to, then you really don't have independence anymore and that's really, really important for the iranian
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people and something i think our politicians have to understand not just with iran but with every country that we deal with we're used to be able to tell other countries what to do. we're used to being able to throw our weight around. it doesn't work anymore. it can only work if we really arily to go to war, have perpetual war with all these countries that don't want to listen thousand. and i don't think any of us believe that we are capable of that even anymore, of going to war with a bunch of other countries, particularly in the middle east. o the sanctions and threats on iran aren't accomplishing what they were meant to accomplish. sanctions and threats were meant to accomplish two things, one is to change the behavior of the regime or to force the people to change the regime. squeeze the people so much they
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get so unhappy with the regime they rise up and overthrow the regime and there's a regime more amenable to doing what we want it to do. neither of those things will happen in iran. neither has happened or is going to happen. if anything, sanctions have not quite decimated them but hurt them to a point the middle class has virtually no say anymore in civil society in iran. the middle class is getting smaller and weaker and it's the middle class in countries that tend to be the agents of change. the threats are actually causing the iranians to be more intransient -- intransigent instead of being perfect and trying to resolve what is the main issue with iran which is the nuclear issue. the iranians today look around them and say well, north korea actually has nuclear weapons, has tested nuclear weapons.
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they are under sicks, that's true, by the united states and other countries but nobody is threatening to go to war with north korea and yet we don't have nuke weapons and they threat to come to war with us. this doesn't make sense. we can resolve this issue if the united states, particularly the united states, because the other countries involved, it is you -- the view in iran is not they're the influential parties, if the united states was willing to accept iran as n us islamic country and a legitimate government with legitimate interest in the region and that so far as the iranian government and people are concerned has not happened. we've not yet accepted the islamic republic is a country we should be able to treat in exactly the same way as we treat any other country, as any other independent, powerful country. this is a demand iran has that is not going away. the iranian regime, i'm talk
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about that and the presidential elections coming up and the dissatisfaction with the regime. the iranian regime was based on three things, its legitimacy, e islamic legitimate ti is from three things. the literacy derived from theology. the second one was its support for the poor, a just society going to be more equality, no truppings. -- know corruption and the government would take care of e poorest and weakest in society and is the legitimate factor. and the third is the independence issue i talked about. the first issue has weakened considerably. the religious legitimacy has been somewhat weakened particularly since 2009, since
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the elections when many of the ayatollahs were seen to be cruel and not caring about any of the things they talked about in the past and the democratic values, but even down to torture and arrests of human rights activists and protesters and stuff like that, you lose rnls legitimacy if you do things that are not very religious or at least accepted in the rnl and even islam doesn't accept torture of prisoners for no reason, or for any reason, actually. they lost that legitimacy, too. and they lost the legitimacy of fence or justice and corruption and equality for people, probably because there's as much corruption now as there was in the last years of the shah's regime, if not more, and there's a huge gap in wealth between the haves and
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the have-knots and a lot of resentment in iran, even among people who support the islamic republic as a regime. there's a lot of resentment about there's a class of the society and people associated with the revolutionary guards and the regime who do very well economically and live very well and go around throwing their weight around when there's people who are suffering. so that legitimacy is gone. it was there at the beginning of the revolution. anybody who had a in other words kept it in the garage because they didn't want to seem to be wealthier than anyone else and today there are bugatis and ferraris in iran for people who cannot make their -- can't even feed their families. that legitimacy is gone. the only legitimacy they have left in iran really is this legitimacy of an independent state that will fight for the
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nation's rights regardless what the regime is. now, for the people of iran, we are always as americans, ear always interested in other cultures and what the political systems are and whether the dictatorship is cruel and the people of regime want the regime to be in power, don't want the regime to be in power. we have sympathy for people who stand up to dictators and autocrats. as far as the united states' foreign policy is concerned, though, the between issues of whether iran has human rights -- horrible human rights record and is an un-democratic country should not be related to the nuclear issue. they are, as far as i'm concerned, unrelated. because if you try to relate those two issues, you'll ner get anywheit t iranian government. you're not going to be able to bring down the iranian government through rhetoric.
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you're not going to be able to get the iranian people to rise up against this regime through rhetoric. and by telling the iranian regime that we hate you because of your human rights record, by telling the iranian people we stand with you against this horrible dictatorship, you're actually helping the rescream because the regime turns around and tells its people they're not worried about the nuclear issue. what they're really trying to do is overthrow us. what they're trying to do is overthrow the gentleman regime you voted into pow -- severe the regime you voted into power. that you wanted, the americans don't want. that's what they're concerned about. it's not the nuclear issue. and then at that point anyone who disagrees with the government. if there is a civil society or opposition to iran, anybody who disagrees with the government automatically becomes suspect. oh, you're actually working with the americans and doing the job of americans.
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that's what they want. they want to overthrow the government and want liberal democracy in iran they can control. by criticizing us, you're actually helping the economy. so it helps the regime when you do that. so i remind you those things aren't related and even among the iranians, they're not related. if you look at the 2009 protest in iran and what people were demanding then, it wasn't an end to the nuclear program, it wasn't relations with the united states. people weren't walking down the streets of tehran satisfy mahmoud ahmadinejad was re-elected in a dubious vote count, they weren't saying we want relations with america and we want the americans to come here. no. they were complaining about their own system, their own lack of civil rights. and for those who think the boat was rigged. it had nothing to do with recommendations or the nuclear
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issue. every candidate in iran who ever has run for public office, the most reformed, from the most reformed side, the most liberal, to those who believe there should be a democracy in iran to the most hard line have all supported iran's nuclear program, every single one. ed r mosavi who lost to swrajad in 2009 and has been under house arrest 2 1/2 years now, he still to this day supports the nuclear program and wouldn't give in one iota with the united states. so the nuclear issue is separate from the human rights and the civil rights issue in iran. it is ggest always absolutely ok for us as americans, for independent non-n.g.o.'s and even for the u.s. government to express smay
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" dismay about human rights abuses and moral support for iranians trying to build a better society in iran. but to make that a primary situation won't get us anywhere with -- [cell phone ringing] >> i like that cell phone ring. mine doesn't work. it's not getting us anywhere in terms of trying to come to some sort of agreement on the nuclear issue p iran. it's not a cell phone. someone is practicing. even better. a musical accompaniment. [laughter] >> i'm not going to be too long because i know people actually prefer to ask questions and try to get answers to questions rather than just listen to me go on and on about various things that could bore you to tears. [[[[[ççççççç
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>> we examine the bomb. i now recognize myself for an opening statement. the attacks in boston shook this nation and brought back memory of that date in september 2001 that changed our lives forever. i'm confident that we will emerge from this tragedy stronger than ever before. anyone who thinks they can execute an attack on this country and change our way of life, greatly underestimates ur spirit and our resolve. it is the responsibility of this committee to provide
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oversight and investigate what happened, what went wrong and what we can do to better protect american lives. the victims and their families deserve no less. we will never forget april 15th. but we must do more than remember, we must hold accountable those who did us harm, as well as the terrorists who inspired them. we must also demand more than just answers for any mistakes made. we must find solutions so that it does not happen again. in the chaos following the blasts, the american people, including myself, were amazed at the courage of first responders and civilians who ran towards the explosion, instead of away. these men and women motivate us all to pick up the pieces and move forward. commissioner, we applaud you, as well as the first responders and law enforcement officials
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who risked their lives to save thers. we owe all of you a debt of gratitude. [applause] in order to move forward, today we look back. the families who lost loved ones, and the over 260 wounded deserve answers about how this happened, and what can be mproved in the future. almost three weeks after the moke cleared on boylston street, many questions
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remain. what we know today is that radical islamists still threaten our homeland. while we don't know if this attack was foreign-directed, we certainly know it was foreign-inspired. tamerlan tsarnaev's trip to the chechen region; the radical videos proclaiming the caliphate that he posted when he returned, and the type of bombs he and his younger brother used, all signal an al qaeda-inspired terrorist attack. while mystery continues to surround what happened on the older brother's trip to dagestan, much can be drawn from what we know about the region. many chechen rebels have forged a bond with the al qaeda jihadist movement. these lethal warriors have fought side-by-side with al qaeda and the taliban against u.s. soldiers in afghanistan and iraq. in fact, my constituent's son, marine sergeant byron norwood, was killed by nine chechen rebels in iraq. perhaps most appalling, are the suspect's reported statements following his capture. these men who hate our values used our freedoms to kill americans.
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since the bombing, questions have been raised about whether dots were connected before and after the attack. we know that russian intelligence warned the fbi about tamerlan, and that he may travel outside the united states to meet with extremists. we know he was then investigated and interviewed by the fbi, but when he travelled to the chechen region in 2012, the fbi was unaware. the cia also received an alert from russian intelligence and the agency asked that he be added to a terror watch list. we now know that d.h.s. was alerted to his trip overseas, but nothing was done. in other words, he was on our radar and then he was off. what remains unanswered is
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whether this information was shared between federal agencies and state and local officials. almost nine months after tamerlan returned, he and his brother dzhokhar, executed the largest terrorist attack on our soil since 9/11. this demonstrates that the radical jihad movement is alive and well around the world and in the homeland. we learned over a decade ago, the danger in failing to connect the dots. the cornerstone of the 9/11 commission report was that agencies had "stove-piped" intelligence, which prevented us from seeing potential terrorist plots. in fact, the dhs was created in the wake of 9/11 to help fix this problem. my fear is that the boston bombers may have succeeded because our system failed.
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we can and must do better. equally concerning is the emerging narrative which downplays the spread of the global jihadist movement. from the attack at fort hood, to the tragedy at benghazi, the boston bombings are our most recent reminder that we must call terrorism what it is, in order to confront it. you cannot defeat an enemy you refuse to acknowledge. i was disturbed in the days following the attack to read that some officials had closed the case on whether there was a foreign connection, when the fbi had just begun its investigation. as a former federal counterterrorism prosecutor, this rush to judgment was both premature and irresponsible. the american people demand and deserve accountability. and while we investigate what may have gone wrong, we must also pay tribute to what went
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right. just as tragedy often exposes weaknesses, it also reveals our character. the acts of heroism in boston in the minutes and days after the attack made us all proud to be americans. with that, the chair recognizes the ranking minority member. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. thank you for holding today's hearing. i want to thank our witnesses for appearing. this hearing has been billed as a first look at the boston marathon bombing. while it is appropriate that we examine the events of april 15th, we need to understand and recognize our limitations. first, we must recognize that the events of that day remain under investigation. while we must fulfill our
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oversight responsibilities under the constitution, we must be careful not to jeopardize an on-going criminal investigation. so we must exercise some discretion in our questioning and our statements about these events, the suspects and theories about links to others who may not be in custody. despite those limitations, there is much we can discuss regarding the boston marathon bombing. we can and should discuss the incredible response from the police, fire fighters and emergency medical personnel. once again, the first responder community ran toward a atastrophic situation when all others were running away. so, i want to commend the boston first responders for their bravery and heroic
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actions. but i also must recognize that as first responders, they demonstrate that kind of bravery every day. second, we need to acknowledge the people of boston and the surrounding area. they not only responded with calm and determination on that day, but in the days that followed, they responded to law enforcement's call for help by sharing their photographs and videos. that kind of community spirit the willingness to pull together and lend a hand is one of the qualities that make this country a great place. additionally, we must recognize the thoughtful and difficult decision by the governor of the commonwealth of massachusetts. requiring residents to remain in their homes for a few days after the bombing and placing an entire city on lockdown was not easy. but given that the exact nature of the threat was unknown, it was a decision which had to be made. and finally, we must acknowledge the decision of the attorney general to immediately refer to the bombing as an act of terror and send the fbi and other federal law enforcement
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to assist in the effort to locate, arrest, and bring to justice those responsible. as we look at the events of april 15th and the days that followed, we must also look at what happened before april 15th. as the committee on homeland ecurity, we must acknowledge that the kind of response that occurred on that day would not have been possible without federal grant funds. the effectiveness of the response executed by the first responders is a direct result of over a decade of investment in preparedness and response capabilities and exercises supported by the federal emergency management agency and its targeted homeland security grants. since 2002, the commonwealth of massachusetts and the boston urban area have received over $1.3 billion in funding through federal grant programs. the commonwealth and the boston
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urban area have used these funds to develop capabilities to prevent, prepare for, mitigate the effect of, respond to, and recover from natural disasters and terrorist attacks like the boston marathon bombings. anyone who has doubts about the value of federal grant dollars should be reminded of the brave actions of the first responders on april 15th. so, as this congress continues to cut funding for these programs, i hope my colleagues on the other side of the aisle who are members of this committee will oppose those cuts. refusal to support these funding cuts would be the greatest tribute any of uscould boston. but i also recognize that in addition to the positive
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effects of federal grant funding, the boston bombing also revealed some negatives that we cannot ignore. we cannot ignore that once again, it has taken a tragedy to reveal problems in our vast, varied and numerous federal databases. we faced a similar problem of a faulty database in the christmas day bomber incident. now we learn that there were database problems which made it possible for one of the bombing suspects to re-enter the country after a trip to russia. it is time to recognize that we must develop a way to fix and integrate these various databases. but we must also realize that in the federal government, no one agency or entity has the responsibility and the authority to scrub and integrate these vast systems that contain records on millions of people. congress cannot continue to complain about the failure of the databases without giving the authority and the funding to one agency to fix these
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problems. i guarantee you that if we fail to act, we will be discussing this issue again. but that is not the only issue we must act upon. in response to the events of september 11th, congress enacted the terrorism risk insurance act of 2002. that measure increased the availability of terrorism risk insurance to at-risk american businesses by guaranteeing that the government would share some of the losses with private insurers should a terrorist attack occur. that act is set to sunset in 2014. today, i am introducing a bill that would not only extend the act, but would add some needed improvements. i urge my colleagues on this committee to co-sponsor this act. we must recognize that small businesses and others that suffer an economic loss due to a terrorist act should not have
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to shoulder that burden alone and should not he to ry on the kindness of charity. finall te this first look at the boston bombings, i hope we do not fall into a pattern of reaching conclusions before all the facts are known. at this point in the investigation, speculation about the motivations of the suspects and the role of external influences seems to change daily. we all want to know the answers and are tempted to reach our own conclusions. but somewhere i read to everything there is a time and season. this is not the time and the season has not yet come. but it will arrive shortly. so, i look forward to our second look, where we can receive testimony from representatives of the intelligence and investigative agencies that may serve to answer many of our questions about motivations, the suspects and external influences.
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again, i want to thank the witnesses for appearing today. >> i thank the ranking member. let me just say as a former federal prosecutor, i always reserve judgement until all the evidence is in. with respect to grant funding, i met with the boston fire comissioner. he told me if it wasn't for the department of homeland security funding that helped them with response exercises, it could have been a different situation. that helped in saving many american lives. with that, let me just say we are pleased to have the witnesses hear today. the first witness, no stranger to the congress. our friend and colleague, senator joseph lieberman. he represented the state of connecticut and was the distinguished in the united states senate from 1999 to 2013. in the months after september 11, he led the fight to create a department of homeland
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security. it led to the creation of this committee and the senate homeland security committee. he chaired it until his retirement from the congress early this year. with that, i would think it appropriate for my fellow colleague and friend from the boston area, one of the best district in the area, he represents waterton, and i thought it would be appropriate for him to introduce of the police commissioner and mr. swartz. > thank you, mr. chairman. i just have the pleasure of introducing boston police commissioner ed davis. in 2006, commissioner davis was ppointed by the boston
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commissioner to be the 40th commissioner. in this role he oversees police services for over half a million people him along with those visitors that come into the great city. mr. davis, i knew him before he was commissioner. he is a leader in using a position to bring different layers of law enforcement to gather, working in a task force of major cities. he he is the superintendent of he office in 1994. during this, he brought -- he was recognized for reducing the crime rate lower than any other superintendent in america.
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over 100,000 residents. most recently, he led the police department response to the boston marathon bombings and the quick thinking of the men and women under mr. davis'leadership, and civilians in boston led to the survival of 17 critically injured civilians. i want to note during this leadership he led first and foremost in his mind the four victims that lost their lives, lindsay lou, martin richard, christian campbell, and chuck alere. i want to thank you for that. we are pleased to have you here today.
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another friend of mine, the under-secretary of the committee in massachusetts. he is a person who has just done extraordinary work in so many different regards. he was an emt himself. he was a police officer. he has served so many different and important positions in massachusetts at times of crisis and emergency. omeland security and emergency management in executive office in 2007. he was the leader. he also serves as the director of our agency, as well as the homeland security adviser to governor patrick. a long history of service in the commonwealth.
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he has been under-secretary for fire services under governor patrick as well. he has worked for eight years under the attorney general where he worked with district attorneys and law-enforcement officials like myself for the five years as chief of the criminal bureau. he expanded a resume that is rich and deserve. this does not really include the full picture of kurt swartz. he brought people together. most recently, he played a critical role in emergency planning and response to the boston marathon attacks. he participated in many of the training exercises which aid in the response so successfully on april 15. he further managed shelter for the city of boston. this aid to the successful apprehension of the suspect, and saved possible damage for their other actions that they had contemplated. i want to thank both of these gentlemen for being here. i've been proud to work with you personally. you are to be both saint for what you have done to save lives in this terrible tragedy. thank you. >> i think the gentleman from massachusetts. our final witnesses erroll southers.
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he is the associate director of the on center for risk and economic analysis of the terrorism events at the university of southern california. they key for being here today. he is formally served as to b.d. corrector in california at the office of homeland security. the witness. as we made any record. -- their full statement will be made into the record. the chair recognizes senator lieberman's opening statement. chairman mccaul, ranking member thompson, thank you for inviting me to testify and for giving me the honor of doing so alongside boston police commissioner edward davis and massachusetts undersecretary for homeland security kurt schwartz. after the terrorist attacks on america on 9-11-01, i was privileged to work with colleagues in both houses, both parties, and the executive branch to enact the mostrensiver national security architecture since the beginning of the cold
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war in the late 1940s. i am grateful that the reforms we adopted and new organizations we created have worked well to protect the american people from terrorist attacks but, as we saw in boston, they are not perfect. since 9-11, no terrorist plot planned or launched from abroad against our homeland has succeeded. that is a remarkable record and is a testament to the commitment of the men and women both civilian and military who have devoted their lives to keeping us safe. at least 65 homegrown terrorist plots planned and launched right here in the united states have been stopped. but three have succeeded in that at least one american was killed, carlos bledsoe killed an army recruiter in little rock in 2009, nidal hasan killed 13 at fort hood later hat same year, and now the
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tzarnaev brothers killed four and severely wounded many more in boston during the week of april 15, 2013. the boston attack was the first successful terrorist attack either homegrown or launched from abroad on a non-military target in america since 9-11. could it have been prevented? from what i know of the facts and what i know about homegrown islamist terrorism and our efforts to prevent it, i believe -- it would have been possible to prevent the attacks in boston. you must acknowledge that it failed to stop the
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brothers. with your help, we must find out why and fix it. ira member a leader who want said to me the terrace to keep coming at us, they'll have to succeed once. we have to stop them every time. that is almost impossible. that is the standard our defenders hold themselves to, nd we have to as well. i am grateful you begun this investigation. you to go step-by-step, pull apart and ask what more could the public and private individuals involved here have done to prevent this area did -- this area. whenever there is a governmental failure, the ministration power will become
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defensive and not share information and that congress will be divided by politics and lose sight of overriding missions, which is to protect the american people from the next planned terrorist ttack. i hope and believe that this congress and this administration will not let that happen this time. second, the boston marathon attacks should again teach us that the enemy we face is violent extremism, not just al qaeda. all some of bin laden is dead. -- osama bin laden is dead. the remaining leadership is on the run. the ideology of violent extremism is rapidly brothers were involved with foreign groups. the adopted the outrageously
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false narrative of violent islamist extremism. that they are in a struggle to the death of each other. that compels us to ask again how this ideology and radicalization can be countered and ultimately stop. the leaders and members of the world community, including our own fellow americans, probably have the greatest capacity to do the most important work on counter radicalization. the rest of us have a responsibility to help. three, prior to 9/11, there was too little sharing of information about terrorist threats. therefore the so-called dots cannot be connected because they were not on the same board. our post on 11 reforms aim to overcome that serious problem
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and to us it -- and to a significant degree they did. there is a much information being shared on the same metaphorical boards by governmental agencies that the larger problems for personnel may be being able to separate the wheat from the chaff. that may have been the big part of the problem. i urge you to try to determine whether it was. and to ask whether lingering failures to share information, in this case by the fbi and the department of homeless security, made it more difficult to prevent the boston attacks. it may be that the most damaging failure to share information was committed to the russian intelligence service. their original inquiries to the fbi and cia were quite vague and apparently whose knowledge of what he did was not really convey to our government until after the boston marathon attacks. however, we have got to ask. i hope you will, shouldn't the
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fact that the first notice of his possible radicalization came to us from a very uncommon source have marked the case for special handling by our government, to guarantee this file not be close. with the original fbi interviews adequate to determine whether he was lucky to radicalize? was the fbi investigation curtailed by existing attorney general guidelines, which go back to previous administrations. did the fbi enlist the help of state and local law enforcement am a -- enforcement, to continue to watch tamerlan, and monitor his inner activities or the purpose of assessing whether he was radicalizing even further. why did the department of homeland security notify the fbi in the boston phd f when it system pained that he had returned? finally, when it comes to preventing homegrown terrorists from attacking us, our homeland
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security agents cannot do it alone. the government needs the help of the american people. if people see something suspicious, they must say something to our government. in this case, there are people who clearly could've prevented the massacre by just saying something. most obvious are the friends of tamerlan hua been arrested. they have -- they should have told police instead of bjecting -- obstruct injustice. the leaders of the boston mosque that threw him out because of his extreme views could have said something to he police.
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even members of the family, including his wife, could have lives, including tamerlan if they said something. the cost of silence as we learned can be an norma's, as enormous as the -- can be an norma's. -- can be enormous. i thank you for that. will do anything i can to help you with this investigation, beginning with answering your questions this morning. >> thank you for your service to our nation. we look forward to working with you. we open your -- we are always open to your advice and counsel.
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the chair now recognizes commissioner davis. let me just say that your actions and the people of boston made us all proud to be americans. they recognize you for an opening statement. -- i recognize you for opening statement. >> thank you mr. chairman. chairman mccaul, ranking member thompson, distinguished members of the committee, thank you for nviting me here today to discuss the tragedy that occurred in boston on patriots day, april 15 when two cowardly brothers laid siege to one of assachusetts? most venerated
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traditions, the boston marathon. i am here as the commissioner of the boston police department, but i also speak on behalf of mayor thomas menino, the mayor's emergency management staff and law enforcement from across the state and across the nation, when i describe our cooperative response to these attacks and what they did to our community. i would like to point to the four people who were killed in this attack. they are indicative of who was there at that event that day. we have eight-year-old martin richard, who was there with his mother and sister. his father had just run by completing the marathon. we have a boston university graduate student. she was finishing her studies and was there with friends right next to martin when that bomb went off. we have a restaurant manager, krystle campbell. she was at the finish line when the first motion occurred and
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lost her life there. a few days later, we had sean collier. these brothers assassinated him. a young man that had committed his life to law enforcement and was going to go into the police department. these individuals turn the city upside down. the impact on boston will last for years. the boston marathon will come back stronger next year. it will never happen again without the memory of this tragic event. out of that tragedy, that herbal experience, -- that terrible experience, comes strength on the part of the community. it was alluded to earlier, but the medical people boost -- who staffed the tent at the end of the finish line, a were there to treat people with blisters and exhaustion. instead, they ended up being thrown into a battlefield scenario with injuries that were her rent is.
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if it wasn't for the actions of my police officers, firefighters, ems people who were at the scene, and those medical people in the tents, the death toll would be much higher. that response is indicative of what happened in the city of boston. it underlies this whole conversation of boston strong. it involved the baa. it involves spectators to my businesses -- it involves spectators and businesses. the amount of charitable giving that occurred there was spectacular. he city and resident of boston co-op or a with us. that was the right decision to make based on the information
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we had. the residents full cooperated, which was astounding. boston is a stronger city because of this. i hope the pity you -- people who commit these acts understand that there is a futility in their efforts. the city is back on its feet. we will never forget the people you see to my left. i will tell you that they had no effect on the city of boston, except to make us a stronger community. one of the things that has been much discussed here is the information sharing that occurred before and after this incident. i can't tell you how much i appreciate the cooperation of the fbi, atf, massachusetts a olice, and all of the help
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that they gave us when this happened. in the seconds after i was notified, the first phone call i made was to rid the laurier, -- him and the state police were my go to people because we needed swat assets in the downtown, expecting a further incident. they responded immediately and gave us all the equipment available in massachusetts. they were there within 30 minutes. the first victims were evacuated within 22 minutes. we had every swat team in the ommonwealth.
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we were on-site -- where we had our first meeting of the command post. the information sharing that we did before hand to prepare for the marathon was good. we certainly need to look at everything we did. the senator's comments are well taken. everything that we did has to be reviewed so that would make sure this does not happen again. until the facts on the table, it is hard to say what we could've done differently. i am satisfied with the preparation that we put in place. after 9/11, i met with the director of the fbi after the incident. he committed to including us. he has been good to his word. we are real members of that organization. i have three detectives and a sergeant that are there everyday day and working closely with the bureau. we certainly need to enlist the community better. the points about identifying radical extremism and ferreting that out, the first thing that
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we need to do is go to our community and explain to them that they have a responsibility to their community and their nation, into what is right to report the kind of activity that these brothers were involved in. i think that is the first line of defense. there is going to be conversation about cameras and technical him -- and technical means. there is no computer that is going to spit out a terrorist name. it is the community involved in the come -- in the conversation and being appropriately open to medicating with law enforcement when something awry is identified. that needs to happen. that should be our first step. we have to look at cameras, sure we do. do we have to look at more bomb dogs?
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utilizing homeland security and the federal government? we do have to do that. it is important. the training you alluded to is important. people are alive today because of the terrorism training that homeland security provided to us. further investment has to be made. moving forward, the help of the federal government was critical to our response here. we need to look at how it happened and why it happened. the truth of the matter is, nobody messes with boston. we need to comes -- we need to recognize that intelligent analysis and joint terrorism task force are part of our future. boston is an international city. we derive an enormous benefit from the people who come to boston for school him and for hospital care, and just to be a part of our community. the world is a dangerous place. we need to recognize that and be prepared for it. they key. -- thank you.
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>> on behalf of the committee, we thank you for your efforts. your department, our hearts go out to the victims and their families. both of those killed and the 260 that were wounded. many of whom your department saved on that day. let me just say thank you for that. the chair recognizes under-secretary schwartz for a statement. >> thank you. on behalf of governor patrick, i thank you for this opportunity to share thoughts and insights as you take your first look at the tragic events relateto the boston marathon
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bombings. the week of april 15 emonstrated the value of our investments in money, and our local: security enterprise. within seconds of the bomb blasts, an array of personnel resources and capello -- capabilities, many funded with homeland security grant ollars, or bought two bear and triaged to care for the wounded, communicate with the public, provide situational wareness or decision-makers, ensure the safety and security of the public and critical infrastructure, set up a joint
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command center, and identify and apprehend the suspect it terrorists. the speed with which boston responded supported by the police is a testament to the homeland security spending and investments and preparedness, training, and exercises, coordinated response systems, and outstanding leadership. i speak with firsthand knowledge of the baroque work done by our safety team on april 15, and in the following days. i arrived on boylston street only minutes after the blasts where i joined city and state command level public safety officials, including commissioner ed davis of the boston police department and colonel timothy alben of the massachusetts state police. and i was still with this team five days later when the last of the suspected terrorists was captured in watertown. i commend governor patrick and members of his administration , commissioner davis, and the many women he commands, the first responders, and the many other local, state, and federal agencies that responded for their extraordinary performance. as you all know, april 15 mark the 117th running of the boston marathon.
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one of the most prestigious marathons in the world. the marathon is a big deal. ublic safety for the mass -- assacre -- marathon is a big deal. the boston marathon is one of our largest annual events. we have had substantial planning and operational esources to protect as best we an the runners and spectators, and the towns that host the race. on april 15, the playbook safety committee was prepared. as the public safety committee was prepared. on race day, an 80 person multiagency coordination center was operational.
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representatives from boston police, ems, and public safety risen now on the other seven ities along the 26 mile course ere present. -- along the 26 mile course, local, regional, and state technical teams, hazardous materials response teams, eod teams, the national guard civil support team, mobile command post, and state police helicopters were deployed as part of an all hazards perational plan.
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in short,when 27,000 runners started the race in hopkinton, we were prepared from the starting line in hopkinton to the finish line in boston. as we well know, two powerful bombs were intentionally detonated 12 seconds a point -- a part within a short distance of the finish line. the results were catastrophic. three people killed and over 250 injured, dozens of them seriously. the response by the public -- by bystanders, witnesses, and volunteers in those moments was nothing short of remarkable. the public safety response was equally incredible. the response that eyewitness speaks volumes about the investments that we have made in the commonwealth to enhance our homeland security. from a high-level view, seven seasons -- seven -- several
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things stand out. there is a clear correlation between the effectiveness of our spot operations in the aftermath of the bombings and our homeland security investments. the response of the bombings relied heavily on specialized capabilities that have been built and sustained through our homeland security program. the response of the bombings was augmented through three existing agreements that have been built on regional response strategies and plans. interoperability was a success story. over the years, millions of dollars have been invested under local, regional and state interoperability plans, and our investments in mutual aid channels, tactical channel plans, radio towers, new radios, and specialized training allowed first
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responders, as well as command level personnel, to effectively communicate by radio between agencies, between disciplines, and between jurisdictions. -- to activate our specialized response teams, to stay familiar with the technology-based systems we rely on during emergencies, and to strengthen personal and professional relationships amongst people, agencies, disciplines, and jurisdictions that otherwise may not have opportunities to work together. we benefited from our investment in regional exercise programs that allow for -- first responders with honed skills and gave the military from other areas and may be called in to support under mutual aid agreements. he cooperation and collaboration across agencies, disciplines, and jurisdictions was immediate and extraordinary. there was unity of focus and purpose at the command level and through the ranks all the way down to the first
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esponders on april 15, and the thousand plus police officers that participated in the state's largest manhunt on april 18 and 19. the relation between public safety leaders and public officials at all times was open, positive, and constructive. governor patrick and mayor mean you know -- mayor menino or regularly communicated with and briefed. their decisions were informed by and reflect the public safety concerns, needs, and object to this. this fostered constructive decision-making and opportunities for bolds, out of the box decisions. the support from the federal government was immediate and
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effective. i need to personally thank fema, the department, security, executive office and human services, all of whom had been on the ground and with us and supported us throughout this event. finally, local and state emergency agencies effectively communicated with the public or social media, reversed on one systems, smart phone apps, and for the first time massachusetts, and emergency notification with the new wireless alert system. the response by the public to the bombings and ensuing hunt for the suspected terrorists with nothing set -- was nothing short of incredible. on april 15, people do not panic or act out of a sense of anger or frustration. these tragic and shocking events brought out the best in our communities. a supported our first
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responders and heeded requests and directions from governor patrick and public safety leaders, including the unprecedented request that residents of boston, watertown, and for others running cities remain indoors. the community has responded to these tragic events with compassion, with strength, and with support for the survivors of the bombings. the families of the victims, and the impacted communities. boston and watertown, all of our impacted communities have shown us what it means to be resilient. in the days ahead, we will conduct a comprehensive local, regional, and state review of the bombings, including mitigation strategies and are responsive the recovery efforts. we will identify -- an event of this magnitude and -- what might not have worked, and if there are various improvements. finally, it is important to and by stating that governor pride in our of public safety
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professionals come who demonstrated so well its commitment to public safety, ven under the most difficult f circumstances. these were trying times, and we were able to look back upon them with admiration for the collaboration and that truly made a difference. thank you. >> please express to the mayor and governor our appreciation and thanks. the chair now recognizes -- professor southers for a statement. >>members of the committee, thank you for inviting me to appear before you today. it is extremely unfortunate and saddening that our gathering and important conversations were precipitated by the tragic events in boston, but this
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hearing, and those to follow, offer valuable opportunities to discuss the methods and strategies that can best address and disrupt the ever-present threat of terrorism and violent extremism. my deepest condolences, thoughts and prayers go to the victims of this cowardly act. the boston marathon bombing was conducted by terrorists who grew up within miles of where they committed their tragedy. they were locals, educated, living and working in the area. because of this, they knew the target environment and did not require training to familiarize themselves with the area and its protective measures. put simply, tamerlan and dzhokhar tsarnaev were homegrown violent extremists, and because of them, boston joined a fraternity of cities around the world that have endured terrorist attacks plotted and conducted by their own residents. much like the madrid train bombings in march 2004, as well as the july 2005 bombings in london, the terrorists'
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familiarity with the target area afforded them critical situational awareness that facilitated their ability to lan and execute local attacks, in the context of our country, homegrown extremism describes a terrorist or plots targeting the united states by residents embraced their extremist ideology largely within this country. a precursor is a process of radicalization, the terrorism, the concept of radicalization is widely refered, but remains poorly defined. the term is not limited to any one racial, issue, group. it is a process. radicalization is a process.
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the final element, engagement, is one part of the indoctrination continuum which has potential to yield violent ctivity. an examination of radicalization brought questions regarding how a person becomes engaged, stays engaged, or may disengage from a group or extremes ideology. the requires a commendation of three things. and an enabling environment. of the three, it is the environment that is most susceptible to positive influences that support can reduce the extremism. as officials analyze the boston marathon attacks, we should resist the urge to fix something absence of specific evidence until all the facts are in.
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security is comprised of policies, processes, and echnology. as a relates to environments like sporting events, it should be on emphasis of policies that are risk-based, focusing on threats that resent the most danger, and are most likely to occur. we had the apply research ability to -- citizen awareness, intelligence, and interdisciplinary management round the country, edition two other new cutting edge technology being tested in the united states, in brazil and in cooperation with the 2014 world cup, will continue to hold significant importance for strategies. at the same time, recognizing that the global goal is to
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contain terrorism. we should seek to prioritize opportunities to engage communities to take part in disrupting the radicalization process that can ultimately lead to violent action. the challenge in this case is the role of online media in fostering extremism. the internet in some ways is the virtual community, and future attacks against the united states will likely involve adversaries who have traversed the process at least n part online. securing a democratic society is a formidable challenge and will never be completely free of the terrorist threat. but setting the countries ongoing efforts must remain versatile in the face of adaptable adversaries. every step towards a security
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is met with a would-be terrorist expectation of an -- of a vulnerability. there is no finish line and that -- there's no finish line in in home security. thank you professor. the chair now recognizes himself for question. i like to start with you. and and i commend that. i'd like to ask you a few questions about before the bombing. before the bombing, were a wear of the russian intelligence warning regarding tamerlan and the fact that he may travel overseas to meet with extremists? >> we have three detectives and a sergeant who are assigned to the joint terrorism task force.
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one of my detectives is actually in the squad that investigated that. we have access to all the databases. but we were not, in fact, informed of that particular development. >> so it's fire say that your police officers assigned to the joint citizen task force did not know this information. >> that's correct. app would you have liked to have known that information? >> certainly. >> before the bombing, were you aware that based on the russian intelligence that the f.b.i. opened an investigation into tamerlan? >> we were not aware of that. >> would you have liked to have known about that? >> yes. >> before the bombing, were a wear that mr. tamerlan traveled to the chechen region? >> no, we were not. >> again, would you liked to have known that? >> yes. >> before the bombing, were you
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told that you posted radical jihadist video web sites online? aum no, mr. chairman, we were not aware of the two brothers. we weren aware of tamerlan's activities. >> in a game, would you liked to have known that fact? >> yes, sir. >> we know there's a department of homeland security officer in the joint terrorism task force who were alerted to mr. tamerlan's overseas trips, a trip to russian and chechen region. were a wear of that before the bombing? >> i was not. >> were the officers you assigned aware of this? >> they tell me they received no word on that individual prior to the bombing. >> after the bombing, after the bombing, were you made aware of this information? >> yes. >> and at what point in time was that? >> the information started to come in immediately upon our tamerlan, ion of mr.
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of the -- on the morning of the watertown arrest, so the shootout occurred late in the evening friday in the early morning hours, we started to get information about the identity of the individuals. >> if you had this information before the bombing, would your force and you have done anything differently? >> that is very hard to say. theould certainly work at information and talk to the individual. thefbi did that and closed case out. toan't say i would have come a different conclusion based on the information.